In order to understand a religion, we need only to look at the relationship between the believer and their god(s).
The Vikings were farmers in an unforgiving terrain who spent their off harvest months exploring and plundering, which was the way that the world was – might made right.
It took religion to bring about the golden rule – he who has the gold, rules.
So there was a battle for the world following the fall of the Roman Empire’s Public Works and Government Services Administration – not so much the fall of the central government, but rather, the fall of the centralized bureaucracy.
The Germanic Tribes and other barbarian warlords took over Europe until the battle between muscle and brain settled into a wary alliance in the form of feudalism – a more civilized battle format that ensured that the only people who suffered either way continued to be the peasants – but it’s a few ages and post industrialization and globalization until they become a serious peasant revolt to occupy our minds.
In any event, the battle between might and right called a truce with the declaration of the separation of Church and State – with righteousness delegated to the church in all matters and unencumbered might residing with the State.
Very likely why that Pope was so willing to fund the French crown’s destruction of the Church’s former favorite fist – the Knights of Templar.
The world’s first multinational corporation which operated very admirably in safeguarding the money and lives of pilgrims, which has always made me wonder, how and why the charges of Satanic worship and such were so believed that these Knights of Christendom were slaughtered and betrayed by the very church they followed.
Which is a very long way to say that the people who worshiped gods and then lived, as Viking did on their own terms and by their own rules where far less destructive in the historic view, than those who took the so called righteous path and amassed wealth and political power that depended on conspiracies, assassinations, constant machinations and corruption; because it’s all just about the wealth and power and using whatever means, be it lands or daughters, to secure your grip on that also elusive and moody fickle lover – there is nothing that is truly righteous in politics – because that kind of fanatical politician is always too paranoid and insecure, unstable to wield power and it always ends in genocides and pogroms.
A long way to say that people who live as they beleive that their gods want them to, honour their gods by the living of life, there is no honour in living in a state of ease and affluence or worse obscene wealth and honour through the weak hearted means: the worshiping, praying and bargaining; the manipulating that political creatures do to gain and cling to power.